Cross and Cuba
Thank you for "Why the long face?" (May 1). I was born in Cuba in 1963 and left the country in 1968. My parents brought us to Miami in search of a better way of life, one that did not include a dictatorship. The article was very true to life and I appreciate that you are getting the word out to the rest of America that things in Cuba are not as some in Hollywood may want to portray them. God is in control and I believe that many are coming to Christ because of the oppression in Cuba. The foolishness of the Cross will bring salvation to that country.
-Odalys Fabregas, Miami Lakes, Fla.
The article about Castro's Cuba was right on. It made us want to make a trip down there with our suitcases full of milk and Tylenol. Our son-in-law left Cuba six months ago to start a new life in the United States. We are so thankful he got out. The stories of life there are sad. Do you know why they have such high literacy rates? It's because saying you can't read can get you thrown in jail. Without someone in the United States to send them money for food, some people are existing on a diet that will slowly starve them to death, and the "free" medical care is a joke. Thank you for honest reporting.
Due West, S.C.
I was in Cuba for 18 days in March. With a retired Cuban Methodist bishop I experienced joyful worship and saw the amazing growth of the church. I was impressed with the clean streets of the towns and cities and the calm courage of people trying to lead normal lives in spite of difficulties. The U.S. embargo prohibits our country and other countries from shipping badly needed medicine
-William R. Harvey
I was so offended by the prominent picture of Fidel Castro that I removed it from your otherwise excellent magazine. Then I realized that my negative reaction was an excellent spur to prayer for the soul of this wicked man.
If an unchecked Executive branch is problem number one, then an unchecked Judicial branch is problem number two ("Supreme Court or Supreme Commander?" May 1). Where are the checks against judicial inventions, such as those that produced the "right" to abortion and the so-called separation of church and state?
I am no member of the anti-war movement, but every particle of my being disapproves of detaining people at Guantanamo Bay without a right to a trial ("Peace talk," May 1). The government is hiding behind a legal technicality. Especially galling is Mr. Veith's statement that "Guantanamo terrorists are sunning themselves in Cuba, with seemingly little to fear from military tribunals." There are probably many terrorists among those detained in Cuba, but how do we know unless we try them? The idea that Guantanamo Bay is some kind of tropical resort, and that their existence in legal limbo is to their benefit, is an affront to every civilized person.
-Michel van der Hoek
Like Andree Seu, I have seen poverty from both sides ("Both sides of the coin," May 1). Those on the upper side are uncomprehending of just how much they have, and how much they waste, while those on the lower side are not as focused and productive as they could be with what they have. What troubles me most is how blind are my fellow believers to their wealth and waste.
No doubt Christians should give more and would gain greater blessings if they did. However, the government dipping so deeply into our pockets does not help. Does anyone think that the government itself doesn't get a generous slice of the pie? Why any thinking person wants more government control is beyond me.
Thank you for your brief review of The Da Vinci Code ("Best-selling books," May 1) and describing it as "profane." This book, with its intricate plot and author Brown's story-telling skills, is a very entertaining and disturbing book. Such stories can wear away at Judeo-Christian culture.
Right to meddle
I applaud Lynn Vincent for her reporting of the civil litigation against Cross Church in Fresno, Calif. ("Brother against brother," April 24). However, I disagree that the case "could set a precedent for government meddling in ecclesiastical matters." Civil government has been meddling in incorporated church affairs for decades. Cross Church is a California corporation and that which the State creates, the State may meddle with. Churches should carefully ponder whether the State's so-called "limited liability protection" really protects a church or becomes the means by which a church may be sued (and meddled with).
Mrs. Vincent seems to imply that all believers will be affected by the court decisions she discusses, but some Christians meet in homes with nonprofessional leadership, as in the early, apostolic church. Such gatherings are not affected by tax-exempt status. If there is a church discipline issue, the chastised congregant is simply asked to leave until restoration is possible-the ownership of the building and who is in power does not come into question. Believers have a right and responsibility to keep the body of Christ undefiled, and this can be done without getting Caesar involved.
Worry by Christians about losing their tax-exempt status has always bothered me a little ("Status seekers," April 17).
I do not see any scriptural basis for Christians to be concerned about losing it. Isn't the salvation of one sinner worth losing the tax-exempt status for every church in America?
-Richard P. Lee
After reading "Painfully unaware" (April 24), I remain amazed that mankind would try to justify the destruction of any form of life because no pain is detected. The worst pain resides in the soul.
I agree completely with Andree Seu ("One-track minds," April 24). Abortion is the religion of Mss. Michelman, Gandy, and Goodman. However, Christians can also be guilty of being single-issue voters and refuse to vote for any pro-choice candidate. I am passionately pro-life but believe that it is better, when faced with a choice, to pick the lesser of two evils. When we stay at home, we ensure the election of those whose agendas are most opposed to ours.
I was surprised by your conclusion regarding Hellboy ("Sympathy for a devil," April 17). It was a delightful action flick, but it bordered on blasphemous in its presentation of God as impotent in the face of danger and its depiction of demons as creatures with souls and choices. Also, the comic book series upon which the film is based is from Dark Horse Comics.
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
As pastor of a church in one of America's cultural meccas (southern California), I cannot imagine trying to sift through the news without WORLD. Its arrival bumps everything else from my schedule. I file key articles and put others in my notebook to use in sermons and lessons. Thank you for your hard work and courage.
Michael Farris is the past president of Home School Legal Defense Association; he is now the President of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va. ("Against the Amendment," May 22, p. 24).